Miss Elise Fountain used to be a teacher at the school for wayward girls in Pennyroyal Green, but was fired after she spoke inappropriately to one of the patrons. Now she’s managed to get a recommendation from the powerful Redmond family and is desperate to secure a position as housekeeper to the formidable Lord Philippe Lavay, an exiled Bourbon prince recovering from a near-fatal robbery in the village. He gives her a two week trial, expecting she will be gone before one has passed.
Elise, who was estranged from her parents when she foolishly got pregnant, hides her six year old son in the attic and sets out to get the prince’s household in order. The remaining servants seem to range from the lazy to the downright sinister, but a combination of threats and flattery, Elise soon have most of them doing exactly what she wants them to. Soon the house is actually habitable and comfortable again, and she sets out to discover why Lord Lavay is acting more like a lion with a thorn in his paw than an honourable gentleman. Discovering the extent to his injuries, she’s compelled to help him heal and with every passing day, the housekeeper and the nobleman grow closer and closer.